Values Partnerships leads a nationwide casting tour for ABC’s Shark Tank focused on bringing more diverse ideas and voices to the show.
In 2017, the company is hosting casting calls across the country; giving diverse entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their businesses to appear on Season 9 of Shark Tank.
Values Partnerships also provides pitch prep, entrepreneurship resources, and access to capital discussions to entrepreneurs around the country with the goal of every entrepreneur leaving theÂ events better than they came.
At each stop, I sit down for a Q/A with entrepreneurs from theÂ casting calls and the organizations that support them.
In 2016, the casting tour began in Miami. While in Miami, IÂ sat down with Winston and Dap of CuffedDesign.
We’re kicking off our 2017 casting tour by checking in on Cuffed Design.
Cuffed Design Â
Brandon: How has the Cuffed Design story progressed since we chatted in 2016?
Cuffed Design: Years 2015 and 2016 afforded us the opportunity to experiment with various products while studying logistics and developing an infrastructure dedicated to operating lean and manufacturing very high-quality products. Using data gathered from previous years of work makes it easier to forecast supply and demand for 2017. Keeping target dates for deliverables at the forefront of our fiscal calendar and season specificity in mind, we have become more proactive and less reactive when it comes to gauging what items resonate with our audience.Â
Brandon: Have you added any new products to your line in the past year?
Cuffed Design: The Cuffed Design brand is prolific and continues to push the envelope of fashion when it comes to breaking new products in the market. Recently, we have found success incorporating denim with some of our current designs. Infusing a popular distressed denim element to our leather culture gives our clients the best of both worlds. The new product list range from hats, T-shirts, and women’s purses. This year’s lineup includes several new exciting items geared for a summer release.Â
Brandon: Last year, you said that e-commerce is a core part of your business. How are you using e-commerce to grow your business?Â
Cuffed Design:Â Fashion co-creates your lifestyle and we sell fashion. Social media allows us to efficiently find new customers, communicate our product’s lifestyle, and most importantly, listen to our customer’s feedback to constantly improve the quality of our products and evolve faster as a brand. There is no better place to communicate our brand and products than social media. We’re leveraging social media and coming up with innovative ways to bridge our products with our customers online.
Brandon:Â Do you have any e-commerce tips for other entrepreneurs?
Cuffed Design: Use social media to listen to your customers and understand what they want. Have a social media strategy to help measure and track what works for your product and brand.
Brandon: How do you plan to grow your business in 2017?
Cuffed Design: We have strategically targeted bridal parties for custom accessories, which has proven to be a growing trend for couples that are not looking for conventional styles. Furthermore, we are aggressively presenting at local trade shows and pop-up shops to expand awareness of the Cuffed Design brand organically.Â
Brandon Andrews is a senior consultant at Values Partnerships. View his commentary on business and politics at www.brandonandrews.me
Instagram: @yesbrandonÂ Â